State’s civil suit seeking fine payment from Yameen dismissed

PPM’s leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom. (Sun Photo)

Civil Court has dismissed the civil suit filed by the state seeking to recover the nonpaid fines by opposition PPM’s leader, former president Abdulla Yameen Abdul Gayyoom in connection to his money laundering conviction in V. Aarah case.

Yameen was sentenced to 11 years in prison and fined USD 5 million for money laundering and bribery in connection to the sale of V. Aarah for resort development on December 25, 2022. The USD 5 million fine included a USD 3.4 million fine for money laundering and USD 1.6 million fine for bribery.

Criminal Court ordered Yameen to pay a USD 3.4 million fine with respect to his money laundering conviction within six months on February 26th. However, Yameen had not settled the fine in accordance with the order.

Therewith, the state, represented by the Attorney General’s Office (AG Office), filed a case with the Civil Court to recover the payment.

Civil Court Judge Abdula Ihasaan, who presided over the case, in his judgment on Thursday, pointed out that High Court had issued a stay of execution on the payment of the fine. Therefore, he said the court said it could not proceed with the state’s claim to recover the payment.

Yameen has appealed both his conviction and the fine to High Court. He was granted the stay of execution with respect to the fine, however, not with respect to his prison conviction. The state decided against appealing the stay of execution on the fine.

The appeal hearings at High Court with respect to his conviction remain stalled. It is unclear when the case will conclude.

Yameen was transferred from his cell in Maafushi Prison to his home in Male’ City on October 1 – a day after PPM-PNC’s presidential candidate Dr. Mohamed Muizzu won the Maldivian presidential election. The terms of his home confinement have been seriously eased by Maldives Correctional Service following which he has attended gatherings at PPM office.